LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Following Tuesday's game with Wiley College's JV, Angelina College head coach Todd Neighbors checked over the stat sheets and noticed that his team finished with a noticeable deficit in the rebounding category.
Then he noticed his team's shooting percentage, and those numbers made him feel a whole lot better.
The Roadrunners shot nearly 60 percent from the floor, placed four players in double figures and beat the Wildcats 86-74 at Shands Gym in Lufkin.
"We didn't get a lot of rebounds, but when we can shoot 60 percent from the field, we won't need to," Neighbors said. "We executed some of the things offensively we've been working on in practice, such as spacing and ball movement. Our guys did a pretty good job reproducing what we were doing all week in practice."
Roadrunner Antonio Holmes' night included a team-leading 14 points, with six of those coming on highlight-reel dunks. Bamba Dioum added 13 points in just 14 minutes off the bench; Joevoskie Mitchell finished with 12 points and six assists; and Adrick McKinney added 11 points for AC.
Wildcat Trayvon Hill led all scorers with 26 points that included a 3-of-6 effort from behind the three-point line. Christopher Hayes added 13.
Wiley finished with a 33-25 rebounding edge, but only 16 of those came off AC misses, so hot were the Roadrunners early. Practicing good shot selection and ball movement helped the 'Runners overcome what Neighbors referred to as "a solid defensive team."
"No question, they're a very good team on the defensive end, very patient and well-coached," Neighbors said. "You can tell they've got guys with plenty of experience, and they gave us plenty to work on both offensively and defensively."
Neighbors said one of the biggest positives to go with the win was the play of his underclassmen, a group still battling the learning curve as the young season progresses.
"At one point, we had five freshmen on the floor, and our lead grew from five to 13 points in a critical part of the game," Neighbors said "Seeing the way they were able to handle themselves was a big positive, and it lets us know we're learning quickly."
AC broke open a tight game with an 8-0 run to close out the first half, led by McKinney and six points in the paint from Trent Brantley. The 'Runners followed that with an 11-2 run fueled by the aforementioned freshmen to take control the rest of the way.